( dpa )- The United Nations on Friday welcomed the release of two hostages held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) since 2001, calling the move a "hopeful sign" that would lead to other hostages' freedom.
Louise Arbour , the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in Geneva that she had been calling for the unconditional and immediate release of all hostages "in the hands of illegal armed groups in Colombia."
"This is a hopeful sign that further release of hostages is possible," she said in a statement one day after Colombian politicians Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez were freed.
"We wish to reiterate our call for the release of all hostages, without conditions, as mandated by international humanitarian law and common humanity," Arbour said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki -moon also greeted the release, saying "the gesture will lead to the speedy release of the many remaining kidnapped victims."
He condemned the practice of kidnapping, saying it blatantly violate international humanitarian law.